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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    Why have we forgotten the second line of the 'shloka'?

    "Ahimsa paromo Dharmah" ("Non-violence is the greatest Dharma"). This is the opening line of a stanza in the Mahabharata. The very next line states: "Dharma himsa tathaiva cha (" So too is all righteous violence").

    Unfortunately, we have remembered the first line. Over-emphasis on this line has sapped initiative and energy in our millions, and, instead of making us irresistible moral giants, we have been reduced to cowards.

    We have totally forgotten the second line: "Dharma himsa tathaiva cha". We have forgotten that righteous violence is also necessary. To every individual, his mother, wife and children are the nearest dependants and to guard their honour and life is the first moral duty and obligation of every head of the family.

    We have learnt the first line by heart. Now it's time to learn the second line.
  • #632551
    Wow what a nice observation from the author. It seems he was perturbed over repeated violence in WB state between BJP and Trinamool cadre and the party workers are targeted by either groups and being eliminated systematically, on the one hand CM Mamta Banerjee has been in contact with other parties for a third front alliance against the formidable BJP and and also Congress, on the other hand in her own state she has the compulsion to have truck with Congress to oppose BJP. So this kind of double action wont get good results for her and she has to withdraw the Hindu hate campaign first.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #632552
    Mr. Mohan: This is not a political discussion. This post is for all Hindus, all Indians living in every part of the sub-continent.
    Non-violence is the greatest Dharma; So too is all righteous violence.

  • #632554
    I do agree your target was for none, but the thread connects to the recent violence which were in upscale during the recent past and hence my observation. And by the way people have the habit to accept or skip many things as per their requirements and demand and probably for that reason the second stanza was not gone into detail nor given a thought by right thinking people. Our Hindu culture has many such inspirational quotes and slokas to keep away the crooked mind abay, but we wont listen to the inner voice and are stooping to the level of vengeance attitude at the highest level of disturbing the tranquility.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #632555
    Nice observation from the side of the author. CM Mamata Banerjee is doing all the things to withstand her power in the state. She needs to keep aside the BJP party and that's why she is having a hate for the Hindu community. We have seen many violent protests in West Bengal and for some reasons, the Chief Minister of the state is helpless in taking down the violence protests. She needs to do something for the public to get back the faith from the people.
    "Earning knowledge is by sharing it with ISC and we will rectify our mistakes."

  • #632567
    The half truth 'ahimsa parmodharma' got popularised in India primarily due to Mahatma Gandhi's non-violence movement. There was almost no scope of practising the other half truth i.e. 'dharma hinsa tathaiva cha' during the British period as they were mighty and the first independence movement in the year 1857 was brutely crushed by them.

    There were, however, few sporadic incidences of violence e.g. the Chauri Chaura case in which policemen were burnt alive by putting the police station to fire.

    Thus apparently the popularisation of only the first half of the famous shloka of Mahabharat is due to its repeated use in the context of the non-violence movement launched by Mahatma Gandhi led congress party. Citing the second part also would have escalated the violence to unimaginable levels in India .

    Was violence during partition of India justified?

    Let us encourage each other in sharing knowledge.

  • #632569
    Mr. Kailash Kumar: I beg to differ. Indians have started giving excessive stress on Ahimsa since the time of Buddhism and Jainism. This policy was applicable till the eleventh century. But since then this policy caused untold misery to the majority people of India.
    Non-violence is the greatest Dharma; So too is all righteous violence.

  • #632578
    I don't want to drag these lines into controversy by linking with the political ongoing in some of the states in India. Yet I am totally convinced with the argument of the author that we are always confined to the first line and many of us including me are not aware of the meaning of the second line. Yes,it is true that even Rama while in exile fought with 'Wali' by hiding from a tree and killed him with his arrow in order to protect 'Dharma'. When our path of 'peace' and 'Dharma' are in danger, the meaning of the second line of the shloka is equally applicable. Unfortunately we are taught to maintain peace and follow the path of Dharma since our childhood and never an incidence of teaching or learning to fight against the evil forces and simply gave us the impression that they would be dealt by God alone. It is just like a mother teaching her daughter how to behave in her in-law's house and how to hide her feelings even if she is tortured but never teaches her how to act against any sort of torture or ill-treatment. That is the Dharma we learnt but it is proving other way round to face the challenges today!
    Regards,
    Jagdish

  • #632581
    It is true that everybody knows the first line only. In our Hindu families from the beginning, the parents and other elders always tell us about Dharma and Ahimsa only. They told us how we should be on the side of Dharma and how we should be away from Himsa. This attitude is got digested and mixed our Hindu Dharma. They say if somebody is doing wrong don't worry about him but the God will take care of him.
    Even the great Pandavas when their wife was getting humiliated by Kauravas also maintained silence as per Dharma and waited for Krishna to come and protect her. This is the attitude we always follow.
    But I also feel that the days are changing and we should also change as per the situation and sometimes as required we should start showing our aggression also in protecting Dharma. Lord Krishna also advised the same to Pandavas that when necessity comes we should go for violence also to protect Dharma.

    drrao
    always confident

  • #632609
    #632569 - I agree that practically violence has to be permissible but it looks sort of awkward when it is preached as the second line of a shloka of a scripture.

    Irrespective of the context, Mahabharata was nothing but a cauldron of violence. In the name dharma, warriors slaughtered their kith and kin and guru. Therefore, it is not unexpected that violence is justified in the name of dharma in the scripture.

    Let us encourage each other in sharing knowledge.

  • #632814
    What the author states is from a bygone era, we all respect Mahabharata but it was all about wining and has vivid recitals of deceit, anger, jealousy, mis-information, instigators of violence etc. If we try to apply this in current day India, we would face more bloodshed and destruction than what happened in Mahabharata.

    To me the classic example that we can learn from is what's happening in Syria and in Palestine, both sides in both places are following the path of 'so too is all righteous violence'. But look at what the result is, death and gut wrenching disfigurement of civilians, children, women and the elders. Instead, if all parties follow the first line, the result would be far better. It would take decades to erase the scars of this mindless violence.

  • #632816
    Mr. Natarajan: Does it mean we won't protect our near and dear ones and our motherland from barbaric attacks?
    Non-violence is the greatest Dharma; So too is all righteous violence.

  • #632820
    #632816 - Unfortunately even after recollecting the second line of shloka we are not able to protect our girls from predators and international borders from neighbouring countries.
    Let us encourage each other in sharing knowledge.

  • #632822
    No, we have forgotten the second line. So, let's learn the second line by heart and understand its interpretation from Israel.
    Non-violence is the greatest Dharma; So too is all righteous violence.

  • #632866
    "Ahimsa paromo Dharmah" ("Non-violence is the greatest Dharma"). This is the opening line of a stanza in the Mahabharata. The very next line states: "Dharma himsa tathaiva cha (" So too is all righteous violence").

    The second line is not there in the sloka. I have searched on the internet. I have inquired with knowledgeable people also.

    " Be Good and Do Good "

  • #632870
    Mr. KVRR: Although my knowledge of Hinduism and Sanskrit is next to nothing, I would humbly request you to go through the following link:-

    http://www.hindupedia.com/en/Ahimsa_Paramo_Dharma

    Non-violence is the greatest Dharma; So too is all righteous violence.

  • #632872
    I have gone through many including that website also. Just now, I have contacted a highly learned person who is famous for giving discourses on Mahabharata and other religious subjects. The second line is an attributed one.
    " Be Good and Do Good "

  • #632878
    This sloga has nothing to do with politics and politicians . It is much applicable for a individual who should follow Ahimsa for peace, and violence to protect his right. I appreciate Partha for reminding us the forgotten second line. What use if we live and cannot protect our own family ! I am for both the first and second line of sloga.
    No life without Sun

  • #632879
    I checked on the Net just now and found the second response at this site similar to the query as raised by KVRR -
    https://hinduism.stackexchange.com/questions/9339/does-the-shloka-ahi%E1%B9%83s%C4%81-paramo-dharma-or-excerpt-appear-in-mahabharata

    When people come at you with their worst, you should come at them with your best (advice given to Selena Gomez by her mother, quoted in Time magazine.)

  • #632888
    Mr. Partha, from the link you have given, the below is reproduced.

    The statement, taken in full context and meaning within Sanatana Dharma as is applicable to most people is,
    Ahimsa Paramo Dharma
    Dharma himsa tathaiva cha[3]
    Non-violence is the ultimate dharma. So too is violence in service of Dharma.

    This clearly indicates that 'within Sanatana Dharma, as is applicable to most people'. The second line is an added one.

    " Be Good and Do Good "

  • #632889
    Whether the second part is authentic or not, without going in that academic exploration, I have a great liking for the second part as it not only correlates to the abundant violence in Mahabharata but also to the present situation in many developing countries.

    Every time we cannot win by adopting non-violence and humbleness. There are times in the history of human evolution that only violent and aggressive measures could yield the amicable results. It does not mean that we should resort to unnecessary violence to make our point acceptable. The essence of the second line is that if occasion demands for the benefit of the common public then the ruler or king or Govt can become ruthless and should take strict measures which may appear violent to some people especially in the opposite camps to the people in power.

    Knowledge is power.

  • #632909
    Quote :We have totally forgotten the second line: "Dharma himsa tathaiva cha". We have forgotten that righteous violence is also necessary. To every individual, his mother, wife and children are the nearest dependants and to guard their honour and life is the first moral duty and obligation of every head of the family. Unquote from the author's post.

    The same plot is explained in the Malayalam film Drishyam which was super duper hit and had several remakes in other languages too with the same name but only in Tamil it is renamed as Papanasam.

    Nice to be in ISC and feel the difference.

  • #632916
    Although the thread has been shifted to 'Pending' sub-section and awarded 0 point, I feel that majority of the Members seem to support the logical argument of the author.
    Non-violence is the greatest Dharma; So too is all righteous violence.

  • #632929
    "Vinaasha Kaale Vipareetha Buddhi. " As the bad days come, one's intellect does not work in the proper manner. These days we find many instances of supporting violence. Violence destroys the society.It is to be shunned and not to be encouraged.
    Violence is an intentional act of causing injury or loss of life to a person/ persons or property. Non-violence means not to engage in any violent act. When a person or property is attacked, defending in self-protection does not come under violence as it is not an intentional act.
    Let us not try to rewrite our epics.

    " Be Good and Do Good "

  • #632930
    Lord Krishna asked Arjuna to take the weapon to destroy the evil.

    "paritra?aya sadhuna?
    vinasaya ca du?k?tam
    dharma-sa?sthapanarthaya
    sambhavami yuge yuge"

    In the Kaliyuga some people have started accepting evil as good.

    Non-violence is the greatest Dharma; So too is all righteous violence.


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